Fra’ John Dunlap has been elected Prince and 81st Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Lieutenant of the Grand Master at the moment of his election, 66-year-old Fra’ John Dunlap, a Canadian, is the first Professed Knight from the Americas to be elected as head of the Order of Malta.
The Council Complete of State, the elective body, met in Rome in the Magistral Villa, one of the two institutional seats of the Order of Malta, and elected him by an absolute majority of votes, on the basis of a binding list of three candidates indicated yesterday by the Chapter of Professed. There were 99 voters from 18 different countries.
Fra’ John Dunlap communicated his election to Pope Francis with a letter written in his own hand. He will be sworn in today at 6.30 pm in the presence of Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi c.s., the Pope’s Special Delegate, in the Church of St. Mary on the Aventine, thus entering into the fullness of his powers. According to Article 13 of the new Constitution, he will remain in office for 10 years. The Grand Master is the head of the Order of Malta, a lay religious order of the Catholic Church and at the same time a subject of international law.
The new Grand Master, addressing the members of the Council Complete of State, said: “I accept this office with a profound spirit of service and with the solemn promise of a constant commitment. I thank each of you for having placed your trust in me and for having shown your great love for, and dedication to, our Order by your presence here today. There are many challenges that await us, but united in the awareness of our mission of Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum (witnessing the faith, helping the poor), I am sure that we will be able to face them together united and cohesively, in the same spirit that guided Blessed Gerard, founder of the Order over 900 years ago.”
Further information on the institutional website of the Order of Malta.